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UAS

While impressive, unmanned flight is just one of the capabilities required of the Northrop Grumman-built X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) if it is to enter service with the U.S. Navy. Prior to and after any flights, the aircraft also needs to be safely maneuvered around the crowded deck of an aircraft carrier. Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy have taken the first step towards this with the demonstration of a wireless, handheld device that will allow deck operators to remotely control the aircraft on a carrier deck. Read More

A solar-powered variant of AeroVironment’s hand-launched Puma AE small UAS has matched the continuous flight time of over nine hours attained by a hybrid fuel cell-powered model in 2008. Read More

As of the end of last month, there’s a new drone aircraft in the skies – over Spain, at least. The ATLANTE Unmanned Aerial System is the product of a program run by the Spanish Centre for Industrial Technological Development. It made its first flight on February 28th, at the Rozas airfield in the Spanish city of Lugo. Read More

Raytheon's new Pyros small tactical munition has passed an end-to-end live test with flying colors. The Pyros glide bomb, which is the smallest air-launched weapon in Raytheon's portfolio, was dropped from a Cobra unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to demonstrate its semi-active laser and GPS guidance modes, its height-of-burst sensor for standoff detonation above a target, its electronic safe and arm device, and the new five pound NammoTalley multi-effects warhead. Read More

Following the completion of airworthiness flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base in California on May 15, the second Northrop Grumman-built X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator was transported cross-country to Naval Air Station Patuxent (Pax) River in Maryland where it has just conducted the first flight at its new home. Read More

Late last year, DARPA researchers upped the standard two-hour endurance of Lockheed Martin’s Stalker small unmanned aerial system (UAS) by a factor of four using a propane-fueled compact solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Now the flight time of the aircraft has been improved by a whopping 2,400 percent, with a test flight lasting more than 48 hours using a laser power system to wirelessly transfer power to the UAS from the ground. Read More
The Northrop Grumman-built X-47B has passed the latest checkpoint on its flight path towards becoming the first carrier-based, tailless, fighter-sized, unmanned aircraft in the U.S. Navy’s arsenal with the successful conclusion of the first major phase of flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California. Read More

Northrop Grumman has announced that it will collaborate with Canadian aerospace and defence company L-3 MAS to send a variant of the Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) into Arctic skies. Read More

While UAV’s continue to reshape the theater of war, they are also finding more and more non-military applications, from gathering atmospheric data to delivering supplies to remote villages. Now Aerovironment is examining the potential for its UAVs to rapidly re-establish communications when existing communications networks are knocked out following a natural or man-made disaster. Read More
Lockheed Martin's new Shadow Hawk weapon is deceptively small considering the influence it will likely have on warfare from this point forward. The era of unmanned warfare is about to go to a whole new level. The Shadow Hawk is an 11-pound class, 2.75-inch (7 cm) diameter, 27-inch (68 cm) long drop-glide munition released a mile or more above the target by the equally diminutive unmanned RQ-7B. It may not seem like a major leap forward in weapons technology but it most certainly is, because the Shadow Hawk munition now arms an entire fleet of RQ-7s for the US Marines and Army that could previously only be used for reconnaissance, and it does so with a much smaller and cheaper weapon. Read More
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